It’s one of the pieces coming together across what was a 170-acre cotton field that city officials and developers say is an emerging retail corridor in southwest Dallas County.
More than 1 million square feet of retail and restaurant space is in the works along State Highway 161 north of Interstate 20 to Pioneer Parkway.
Ikea is across from this city’s field of dreams, a huge $100 million-plus municipal parks and recreation project called the Epic with an 80,000-square-foot water park under a retractable roof. It’s scheduled to be completed in November. Dallas-based HKS, the architect for the Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, is building it.
The overall project, called Grand Central Park, also has a wave pool and a 10-acre park designed to be accessible for people with disabilities that’s scheduled to open in mid-2018. There are also an indoor sports facilities, an amphitheater and a library.
But the park project, even a huge one like this, doesn’t grab the attention of developers, other retailers and restaurants quite like a big retailer with regional consumer pull.
Ikea piqued interest from others, including Wal-Mart, which is opening a Supercenter a mile north of Ikea in June. Around the store parking lot is 20,000 square feet of other businesses such as Panda Express. The Wal-Mart corner just north of Arkansas Lane is a project by United Commercial Development.
Just south of the Wal-Mart is DuBose’s parcel, which he said will be partially completed by the end of this year. John T. Evans Co. is leasing it.
Dallas-based Weber & Co. has submitted plans for the largest project to date, 500,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space on the northwest and northeast corners of 161 and Mayfield Road. Dallas-based Retail Connection is leasing the project, called Epic Towne Crossing.
The city of Grand Prairie built its police and fire building on the west side of 161 at Mayfield Road. Its Grand Central Park project, between Warrior and Arkansas, includes the Summit, a 60,000-square-foot adult athletic and leisure club for people over 50. It even serves beer and wine, hosts dances and has a movie theater.
The tollway is making it so much easier to get to this part of Grand Prairie, DuBose said. Going north along the 161 corridor and to its east, there’s been little retail. But DuBose worries about the draw of power centers to the south along I-20 and Grand Prairie’s proximity to Arlington’s main shopping district.
There are only 41 Ikea stores in the U.S. The scarcity of locations and its unique brand of furniture and accessories attract shoppers to Ikea on a regional level.
The Grand Prairie store will be convenient to dozens of cities south of Interstate 30 in Dallas and Tarrant counties and beyond.
The only other local Ikea is 40 miles north in Frisco. Ikea said last month that it will open a third North Texas store in Fort Worth in 2019. It will be at the southwest corner of Interstate 35W and North Tarrant Parkway.